NBA draws record TV crowds

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The first weekend of NBA playoff coverage on NBC featured a record-breaking audience and the highest ratings in more than a decade. Bolstered by a 9.8 rating for the April 30 game featuring the Chicago Bulls at the Charlotte Hornets--the most-watched first-round game ever--NBC averaged a 6.4 rating for the five games it telecast last weekend. That rating is up 10% from the first five games last season. The Chicago vs. Charlotte game was seen by an audience of 32 million.

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Culligan International Co., Northbrook, Ill., will bring back the Culligan Lady and her "Hey, Culligan Man!" cry as part of the company's $8 million ad effort this year. It's the first major use of the character for the water treatment company in more than a decade. TV, radio and outdoor are on the schedule, via Grant/Jacoby, Chicago.

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SunAmerica Inc., a Los Angeles-based financial services marketer, Sunday begins an $8.5 million, six-month TV and print campaign with an aggressive message to people ages 45 to 64 to set aside savings for retirement. The first campaign from Asher/Gould, Los Angeles, uses the line "Look to the Sun" and will appear on major sports network broadcasts, news shows and in magazines.

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